Vice President Joe Biden’s press secretary Kendra Barkoff apologized to a student reporter after a press office staffer demanded that he delete photos he took at an open-press event in Rockville, Maryland.
The staffer told Jeremy Barr, a credentialed reporter for University of Maryland's Capital News Service, that he had to delete his photos because he was standing in the non-press area. The staffer then watched as Barr deleted all of his photos, before asking to see his iPhone to ensure no pictures had been taken with that device.
Lucy A. Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland filed a formal complaint with Biden's press office. “This was pure intimidation,” Dalglish said, adding that “it’s clear from the circumstance that the journalist did nothing wrong.”
In a statement to POLITICO, Barkoff called the incident an "unfortunate mistake" that "will never happen again."
The student reporter was covering a domestic violence event featuring Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin for the student-run Capital News Service. Barr said he unknowingly sat in a section designated as a non-press area. “I didn’t see any demarcation that would have designated a press entrance versus a general entrance,” Barr said.